Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What's your opinion?

We read a book called last week called, Hey, Little Ant. In the story, a boy comes across an ant and is has to make the decision to squish him or let him go free. This book gave us some great perspective and allowed us to empathize with the ant after hearing his point of view. After we read the story we talked a bit about what we would do. Kiddos then were asked to write their opinion based on the questions below. This prompt by far gave us some of the best writing that we have done all year. Below you will see a few examples of our opinions and reasons as to what we would do. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them. We would love to hear from you as well... what would you do?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dental Health

Today we had students from NWTC's Dental Hygienist program come and visit our classroom to talk to us about dental health. They had some great hands-on activities to help us learn how to brush and floss our teeth and to show us what happens to our teeth when we drink too much soda. We got the chance to chew on a special purple pill that temporarily stained our teeth in the places that we missed when we brushed. (Remember doing this when you were a kid - but most likely with a red pill?) Most of us were amazed to see how purple our tongues were and that we need to brush those too. 

Everyone got a goodie bag with a toothbrush, some floss and toothpaste in it. Ask your child to tell you more about the egg in the soda experiment and what they had to do to the egg.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

World Art Project

We are again participating in a Projects by Jen online project. This time we are participating in a World Art Project. This year's project is collaborative project with 23 other classrooms around the world to create a rendition of Vincent Van Gogh's, Starry Night. Our class is responsible for piece number 10. We spent some time before spring break coloring our pieces so we could send them out to the other participating classes. Our group has classes from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade from places such as: North Carolina, California, and New Jersey and as far away as Canada and Australia. 

Each class will also fill out an "All about Us" sheet that will be sent along with their artwork. As our pieces come in we will be placing them on top of the matching section on our World Art Project board in the hall along with the information that each class sends us. We are excited to get our first piece and hope that it arrives soon.

We will also be skyping with a 1st grade class from Connecticut at the end of the month who is also part of the project but from a different group (There are 10 different groups of 24 participating) to compare our art work to theirs. We will also be discussing facts about our classrooms, local weather, and our cities with each other.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How are plants and animals alike and different?

How are plants and animals different? 

As we watch the videos, think about how plants and animals are the same and different.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Science, Organisms, and Padlet

Today we began a new science unit all about the study of organisms. We will be learning about living and nonliving things, building habitats and so much more. This is a very hands-on unit and is usually a class favorite every year.

Today before we started, kiddos scanned a QR code which took them to an empty Padlet wall. Once there, each child used their own iPad to add as many living /nonliving things as they could to the wall. Below is what our wall looked like once everyone had added to it. We then discussed their answers and how they knew that things were living or not. We had some interesting discussions... such as kids thought that birds were living things because they flew, but we don't fly and we are living things.

After discussing their ideas we discussed the real indicators- Living things ave a beginning and an end to their life cycle, they grow and change, and they can make more (reproduce). Ask your child if they can remember the 3 things.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

On St. Patrick's Day we participated in the St Patrick's Day Lucky Charms graphing project from Projects By Jen. which had us predicting, counting, graphing, comparing/ contrasting, and collaborating with a class from Iowa. Our goal this year was to prove that there were more green clovers than any other shape.

We started by making our own predictions on which marshmallow shape we felt would be represented the most in our box. Each of us then tweeted our prediction to our partner class for this project, Mrs DeGroot's class in IA. The kids were so excited to see and read Mrs. DeGroot's class' predictions when they came through on our class Twitter feed. What an engaging and simple way for us to connect.
In the afternoon we opened our box, sorted, graphed, and ate the results. We had a great discussion about which had the most, the least etc.

Later in the afternoon we made a Skype call to Mrs. DeGroot's class in IA and shared and compared our results with theirs. We recorded their results for more discussion later but as we compared each class had to decide if they had more or less than the other class and then put their hands on their head if they had more or hands on their shoulders if they had less. 

When we were done Skyping, we spent a bit of time locating our buddy class on the map and discussing their location in relation to ours. Just another great integration piece.

Adding the technology component truly was the highlight and really made the project come to life. The learning and collaborating that came out of that piece was far more powerful than the graphing alone.

Here are the results from all the classes that participated as of 3/19 (this is a global project).
We didn't prove our hypothesis at this point, but what a great discussion to have with kiddos on the scientific process and their rational for why things turned out the way they did.

Results as of March 19, 2014
Marshmallows Counted
Hypothesis Correct
As a GROUP -- we will be trying to prove that there are more GREEN CLOVERS than any other shape

Friday, March 14, 2014

Marble Ramps

We had a great time this morning using our knowledge of friction, momentum and gravity to help us build marble ramps. 
Check out the video below to see all the creativity that came out of this mornings adventure!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fact Families Popplet style

We've been working on related facts (fact families) in math for the past few days. Today students used dominoes to help them write their related addition and subtraction facts. We used Popplet to record our results. We have used this app a few times for various things but we haven't used it as much as I had hoped to this year. That being said, the kiddos did great using the app fairly independently and kiddos decided on their own if they wanted to use the text feature or the pen feature. As they finished their popples, they took a screen shot which we then shared via Air Server at the end of our lesson.